Mark Bryan,
The TVD First Date

“My first memories of listening to music on vinyl are from my Father’s old wall mount stereo with speakers on the sides, and in the middle, an AM/FM radio / 8-track player, with a turntable that had a sliding, wooden door cover. He had these amazing ’50s compilation records, and The Beatles’ greatest hits 1962-1966 with the lads looking over the balcony and the red trim around the cover.”

“That was as good as it got in those days, and I’m so thankful that it remains pretty great, even amid new technology. The streaming era doesn’t encourage listening to full-length albums. In fact I don’t think Pandora even offers that experience. I still love putting on a record, hearing the crackle leading into the first song, and then switching sides when it’s time. It’s nostalgic, but the listening quality is still really high, and if you like artwork, the vinyl format is unrivaled.

I purchased my first vinyl when I was about 12, through the Columbia House Record Club. ¢.99 for 12 albums, and then you had to buy one per month for the next year at regular price. I remember starting out with the entire Led Zep. collection, Foreigner Double Vision, Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume 2, and Van Halen I, all of which I still listen to today.

Once I got to college at the University of South Carolina, I became a DJ at WUSC. It was just prior to the CD format taking over at radio and I remember cueing up records while off the air and scratching the needle back and forth until you found the beginning of the desired track. It was an exciting time for new music as bands like R.E.M., Midnight Oil, The Db’s, etc., gave birth to the Alternative scene. I graduated in ’89, and the station put in CD players, literally the following year. I still have the same Technics turntable that I had in my house back then with the same Cerwin Vega speakers and it still sounds phenomenal.

It’s exciting that new bands are again releasing on vinyl, and it was cool to see Atlantic Records reissue our first Hootie album, Cracked Rear View on vinyl this past January. My third solo album comes out August 11 and it’s called Songs of the Fortnight. It will be my first solo, vinyl release. When I listened to the test-pressing last week, it sounded warm. It finally feels like a complete record. Hope you dig it, and thanks for reading.
Anticipator(al)y,
Mark Bryan

Mark Bryan’s Songs of the Fortnight arrives in stores on August 11 via Chucktown Music Group—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: JONATHAN BONCEK

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